How to Patch Wall Holes

Time: 1 hour-2 days

Over time, your home is subject to the general wear and tear of daily living. While we most often think of this as affecting floors and furniture, your walls obviously suffer from dings and dents as well. Whether you have tiny holes that are exposed when you move artwork around or a rambunctious kid has gouged a bona fide hole in your walls, patching these areas is easier than you think.

Depending on the size of the hole, patching your walls could take anywhere from a few hours to the whole weekend -- but you'll have plenty of time to binge-watch your favorite Netflix show while you wait.

What's in it for you?

  • Smooth, like-new walls
  • Better base for painting
  • Prevention of further damage

What do you need?

  • Dust rag
  • Spackle or joint compound

  • Putty knife
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint

How to Patch Holes in Your Walls:

  1. Clean the area.
    Wipe down walls with a dust rag. If your walls are stained or greasy, use dish soap and water for a more thorough clean -- just make sure the area is completely dry before you begin patching.


  2. Apply the filler.
    For small nail holes, you can use spackle, but holes larger than a pencil eraser require joint compound. Use a small putty knife to press the filler into the hole, making sure to fill it thoroughly. Don't be afraid to use too much.

  3. Scrape away excess.
    Wipe your putty knife clean and use it to scrape across the hole, which will remove excess filler so that your patch is flush with the wall surface.

  4. Allow filler to dry.
    See the package directions for recommended drying time. Joint compound lightens in color as it dries, so you'll be able to see when it's done. The larger the hole, the longer it takes to dry.

  5. Repeat as needed.
    Joint compound tends to shrink as it dries, and in larger holes, this will leave a dimple in the center. If this occurs, add more filler as described above and allow to dry. Repeat until your hole is perfectly smooth.

  6. Sand lightly.
    Use a fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the patch. This will remove any excess filler around the edges of the hole for a smooth finish.

  7. Prime and paint.
    You can repaint the room or just touch up the spot, so it blends in.

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